The Nashville Predators captain, 37, revealed that he won’t be returning to the ice next season. "This is the hardest decision I've ever had to make, but I know I've made the right one. I’ve decided to retire from the NHL. I kept praying for peace about the next step in my life. A peace that said this is God's will for your future. A peace that said whether or not this was the right time to walk away,” he wrote. "I don't believe it came in a single instance or some aha moment, but as time passed, I gradually became certain that it was right for me to retire. I believe God gave me the ability to play hockey, and I was helped by dozens of individuals along the way, so it's not just up to me on when it's time to say goodbye.”
His team went to the Stanley Cup Finals in June, but lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-0 in Game 7 after a hard-fought series. "Knowing we were so close to winning it all in June only makes it more difficult to leave it behind, but I do so with hope,” he wrote. "Endings are always tough, but I believe when something ends, there are new beginnings, new opportunities and new things to be excited for, too.”
Although the Predators have never won a Stanley Cup since team was founded in 1998, Fisher is confident that it will happen someday. "I believe that this team, that this city, is going to win a championship, and I'm going to be the biggest fan,” he continued. "No one will be happier than I will be to see it happen, because, these fans, they deserve it.”
Now, he’s going to focus on spending time with his wife, Carrie Underwood, and their 2-year-old son, Isaiah. "I approached this season with the mindset that it could be my last, and now that it's past, I'm looking forward to a future that includes a lot more time with my family,” he shared. "Things change when you have kids and you have a family. They've supported me without question, and now it's my turn to return the favor.” (Underwood supported her husband at nearly all of his playoff games this year, and even performed the National Anthem before Game 3 in the Predators’ series against the Chicago Blackhawks.)
The athlete played for the Ottawa Senators and the Predators during his 17-year NHL career. He was named captain of the Preds at the start of his final season.
Read his full letter here.
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